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A movement among conservatives to end government involvement in education received a boost when broadcaster James Dobson encouraged parents to remove their children from public schools that offer pro-homosexual curriculum.

"In the state of California, and in places that have moved with the direction that they've gone with the schools, if I had a child there, I wouldn't put that youngster in public schools," the Focus on the Family president said during a radio broadcast in March. "They're being taught homosexual propaganda and these other politically correct, postmodern views. I think it's time to get our kids out. We cannot sacrifice our kids on the altar of some kind of public school's ideal."

Exodus Mandate and the Alliance for the Separation of School and State are two national advocacy groups unrelated to Focus on the Family that are benefiting from Dobson's call. The alliance's website (www.sepschool.org) allows individuals to sign an online proclamation that says, "I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education." After Dobson's broadcast, 6,000 people from across the nation added their names to the proclamation.

Since 1998 California lawmakers have enacted laws requiring schools to teach tolerance of minorities and mandating that teachers receive tolerance training, says Karen Holgate with the Capitol Resource Institute, a Christian advocacy group in Sacramento. (The group formed in 1987 with help from Focus on the Family.) Holgate says state law includes "gender and sexual orientation" under protected minority status. State law, however, does not mandate a single curriculum.

In Hayward Unified School District, for example, some elementary school teachers use Preventing Prejudice, which includes ...

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August 5, 2002

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